Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Today takes a while to get going.

We share breakfast with the guys from AK44, they again show us great kindness as they make a tray of great tasting, vegan pancakes. The sound guy from the club offers to take a look at our van before we call anyone, to see if there's anything he can do for us. There isn't, in fact our van almost kills the battery in his little VW Camper van, so instead, we call in the experts.

Most of the day seems to spent waiting around in various places. Sometime around mid afternoon, after one call out mechanic, one Ford garage and two new car batteries, we get on our way to Hamburg. We're gonna have to change rental vans in Stockholm when we're home, so as long as we make it back tomorrow, we're ok.

The drive today is silent. We've only been driving an hour before the sun disappears and darkness engulfs the van. We sit there in the dark, freezing cold, watching the GPS arrival time tick down.

It's just before doors when we turn up, so we load in straight away and throw everything off to the side of the stage. It's a small club tonight with a low ceiling and the low stage is easilly the tightest of the tour so far. I get the feeling it's going to be a sweaty show.

We seem to be having good luck with the food on this tour. Most of the time when we play our own shows the food sucks. I've lost count of the times we've had the delight of eating punk chilli, that have endless amounts of ingredients in them and a big zero amount of taste. I don't know how that is achieved... My wife is vegetarian and we don't seem to have that problem at home. It's called SALT. There are of course, exceptions. Anyway, we're getting good food on this tour, tonight being no exception. It's just what we need after the boring van drive and we quickly wash it down with a couple of beers.

All three bands are staying in dormitories above the venue after the show. I sense there's gonna be a party. There is a bar above the gig room that has a ping pong table set up in the middle and one of the guys who hung out at the hostel in Berlin the other night, Goran, is playing records. It's gonna be a fun night for sure.

As expected, the room is completely packed out and the stage is intensely hot. Reproach play what will be there last show on the tour for a while. From here they hop off since they can't afford the trip to Scandinavia and the UK, so they'll meet up with us again for the last two shows in Holland. They play a good show as always and by the time they're done I'm ready for it.

We kick off into our first song, Scars, I really have to watch that I don't smash Johan in the head with my guitar. I don't think he'd appreciate that somehow. As we're playing the second song, Who the Fuck Are We?, the packed audience members start pouring on to the stage. Some over excited kids at the front, who are obviously really drunk, push Johan's mic stand so that it falls halfway down, to around about his stomach area. Johan has to spend a large part of the song bent over double singing into his now dwarf sized mic stand. It looks pretty funny and I play out the end of ”Who the Fuck Are We?”, laughing to myself.

It soon becomes obvious that the guys down the front are deliberately fucking with Johan's stuff. And they're starting to get on my tits. They are falling on the stage constantly and screaming ”Municipal Waste!” at us between every break in the songs. Obviously that's fine, we're big fans of the band ourselves, but I think that maybe they could show a bit more tact.

These kids are really drunk and they are dancing around apparently having a good time, but by now I've decided I don't like them. They're right in front of me throwing their long hair around and I charge at them with my guitar and play it right in their face. The strings are literally carresing their eye brows and there are currently no riffs coming out my amp. They respond by throwing beer at me, which I happily take since it's so fucking hot on stage, any fluid is welcome. A couple of songs later one of the long hairs grabs my guitar neck whilst I'm playing and pushes it at me. Whilst he's bent over head-banging, I take the opportunity and kick him the back of the head. He sticks his fingers up at me, I blow him a kiss.

This is actually what I call fun. I have to be perfectly honest, if the guy at the front was a big bastard, I wouldn't have went near him. I know my limits.

Anyway, the show is hard but very enjoyable. We can't even get close to seeing the Waste show after us, so we hang out by the merch in the bar area and watch it on the projector screen they have there. I heard Tony was feeling a bit feisty after watching us and is ready for a bit of a rumble. He's only a little guy but I imagine him to be a bit tasty in a fight. After a few of their songs I hear him warning some guy, ”Don't even try any of that shit you were pulling with Victims!”. Sure enough a few songs later I hear the sound of his mike smashing the guy in the head.

Even though it's Monday night, there are loads of people here who are fucking wasted. One kid in particular makes me laugh. I first spot him stood on the bench next to the Reproach merch guy, windmill head-banging his long hair around. After Bjorn, Reproache's merch guy, has enough of getting sweaty hair in his mouth, he kindly asks him to stop. The long haired kid falls down to the floor, taking half of Reproache's merch with him.

He then heads for the emergency exit, which clearly has a steel fence blockading it. He attempts, to no avail, make his way through. Me and Johan crack up. He then asks what we're laughing at and I tell him. He stands there taking in air. It's freezing cold outside and soon a fog of cold air blows into the building, it actually snakes its way past us. Me and Johan again think this is pretty amusing and as we're laughing the long haired metal kid comes up in my face and asks me if I'm laughing at him. I tell him that this time, I'm actually laughing at the weird loking fog that had came in, to which he tells me that he thinks it looks like the fog at Auschwitz. I tell him at this point our conversation is over. He pays no attention to that. I'm caught listening to his drunken ramblings for at least another half an hour. It turns out he's not a racist, he's just proud of Germany's strentgh. I tell him that although I'm impressed by his adeptness of the english language, his use of it is badly misplaced. Johan finally resuces me by telling me he needs my help at the bar.

After the show, we all hang out in the bar upstairs. There are lods of people up there. Goran is playing some great songs and there are bunch of people playing the game, Killer, on the ping pong table. Our crowd is represented by Andy, Ryan, Lewis and Tim from Reproach. We all have fun cheering them on as they drunkenly run around the table trying to hit the ball back over the net. The beers are flowing and we're having a great time.

There are yet another couple of annoying, over the top drunks, hanging around. There are these two guys dancing around and just falling into people constantly. One bangs right into Tim whilst he's stood there innocently watching the ping pong. He almost goes flying. What the fuck is up with these guys? At one point in the night I point out to one of the guys that he is being a pain in the arse, safe in the knowledge that I have plenty of back up here should anything happen. It doesn't, thankfully.

We have a great time hanging out at the bar with all the guys on tour. We're lucky to be on tour with such good people. Even the Reproach drummer, who didn't make the best impression on us at the start of the tour, is actually a very nice guy. I guess he just had an off night in Stuttgart a few days ago.

Funny how time turns to mush on tour. Stuttgart, which was only last Wednesday, already feels like months ago. Tomorrow, we're making the long drive back to Stockholm. Municipal have another day off on tour. We did originaly try to arrange a gig in Jönköping for tomorrow, but that didn't end up happening, and now I'm pretty glad we'll be home for the night before we play our home town. We'll be home late, but even so, it's nice to spend a couple of nights in my own bed.

Myself and Andy are amongst the last up when we go to bed around 3am. Considering the amount of beers I've drank tonight, I don't actually feel that drunk. I lie in bed, looking forward to seeing Jenny and my dog Bonzo tomorrow. I hope we can get going as early as possile and we get home at a reasonable time. The Liverpool game is on tv at 9pm, wouldn't mind catching it...

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